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JOINT POST: OBP & MR talk Magical Realism

Beloved - Toni Morrison The Peach Keeper - Sarah Addison Allen The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel - Neil Gaiman, Neil Gaiman Bone Gap - Laura Ruby

Obsidian Black Plague & I decided it would be fun to do some joint posts to discuss what we plan to read for Halloween Bingo, as well as some suggestions for the players! Feel free to add your .02 cents to the comments!


First up - magical realism


Obsidian Black Plague


So I think at this point most Booklikers know that I love magical realism. Maybe because authors who write in this genre take our real world and inserts fantastic or mythical elements into an otherwise fictional book. I think personally that is a pretty tricky genre to write in. You have to do a careful balancing act of not only keeping your story going, but incorporate these elements and still have the story feel real to the reader.

That can mean you have a heroine who not only is a wonderful baker, but she can also in her own way show what she is feeling that affects everyone else around her (Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen) or you have a former slave and her daughter who live in a haunted house believed to be possessed by the woman's daughter (Beloved by Toni Morrison).

Here are three books that I think fit the Magical Realism square that I have actually read and enjoyed:

1. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
2. Beloved by Toni Morrison
3. Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman (which can actually fit a lot of other squares for the bingo as well).

Now for those readers and bingo players who want some magical realism with a side of horror, here are three books for you to look into:

1. The Wicker Man by Robin Hardy
2. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
3. The Green Mile by Stephen King


Moonlight Reader


I agree with everything that OBP said above! I also love magical realism, and am always looking for new authors. My first foray into magical realism was through the Latin American tradition, including authors Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Laura Esquivel and Isabel Allende. I've also read and enjoyed by Sarah Allen Addison and Alice Hoffman. You can't go wrong with any of those authors, but I particularly recommend:


1. The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende

2. Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

3. Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen


Warning on those last two - do not read on an empty stomach.


There is also an emerging contingent of YA authors writing wonderful magical realism, including three books that I have recently loved:


1. The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle

2. Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

3. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater


All six of the books that I've listed are, interestingly, by women authors. I'm sure that there are men (besides Neil Gaiman) out there who are writing magical realism, but aside from Mark Helprin, whose Winter's Tale clocks in at almost 800 pages, I couldn't think of any!


As for what I will be reading, this is a tough one for me! I am leaning towards The Peach Keeper, by Sarah Addison Allen, which I've been waiting to read for a long time! But, I'm a mood reader, so that could change before I get to the point of actually reading!


Next up: Supernatural!